Doris Ramaly: Many hats for a busy lady
by Joycelyne Fadojutimi
Doris Ramaly is single, but she looks upon her many nieces and nephews almost as her children. Now, she is great-aunt for another six kiddoes. In addition, she is the caregiver to her elderly parents. In their younger days her wonderful mother and father served as missionaries in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Their hard-working, caring example shows through in her.
“My parents served in many ways: teaching, leading a Bible School, hospitality, running a bookstore, and church planting,” she says. “I have learned many wonderful character traits from them as a result of their work.”
Their guidance gave her a powerful boost in her career in non-profit work. There was also college training as she spent a year at Kilgore College before moving on to the University of Houston and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature. Next came LeTourneau University, where she took her Master’s in Business Administration. It was invaluable preparation.
“One very significant part of the master’s program at the time was giving presentations every week in front of my peers,” she says. “That has helped me immensely in speaking in front of groups.”
Ramaly currently works as executive director at Family Promise of Longview where her objective is to help local families reach the goal of housing and stability. She essentially collided with this calling.
“I moved to Longview and heard about this wonderful organization,” she says. “I had never worked with children and families experiencing homelessness, but my background was in serving through other non-profits.”
She has spent the past 13 years expertly pursuing this profession. The children she started out working with are now adults, and very grateful to her. For her the fulfillment is both rewarding and total. Still, she gives credit to her Creator.
“God has led my steps, and I have followed. He has opened doors for me in many ways,” she says. “I worked with the state of Texas helping women get off government services and become self-sufficient.”
While still in Houston, she began working with Hispanic children to lower their dropout rate. She also worked with pregnant women to teach them to prepare for birth and motherhood. For her, a typical day is helping others overcome endless problems. She works her way through a steady stream of family meetings, staff support, various business tasks, interacting with volunteers and with churches, and endless meetings.
“No two days are the same, and that is the way I work best,” she says.
She loves seeing the improvements her work makes in the lives of others. For her, seeing them achieve stable self-sufficiency is its own reward. The only thing about her job that frustrates her is that there are not enough hours in the day to get as much done as she would like. The rewards of her toils go further than uplifting the less fortunate. Every time a person becomes homeless it costs society from $40,000 to $50,000 in local medical expenses and community services.
“We spend $3000 to $4000 helping a family become self-sufficient, which means they are not burdening society with the cost of extended homelessness,” she says.
Starting with her membership at Fellowship Bible Church, Ramaly finds time for a long list of community improvement causes and organizations. She is a member of the Longview Zonta Club, treasurer of the Northeast Texas Homeless Consortium, vice-president of the Longview Non-Profit Coalition, attends a Spanish Community Bible Study, Cancer Support group and many more.